A Moment of Brilliance

Thursday 9th July

I must thank Sue for dragging me out of bed on what should have been another lousy weather day. As it was the sun was shining through the bedroom curtains and I checked the weather for the rest of the day.

As I thought in the New Forest, but a glance to the north of the county revealed Bramshill Common was going to be a certainty. Arriving just after 10.30am my first encounter turned out to be the highlight of the day.

Brilliant Emerald - male in-flight
Brilliant Emerald – male in-flight

A pristine male Brilliant Emerald offering superb and prolonged views for my pleasure.

Brilliant Emerald - male in-flight
Brilliant Emerald – male in-flight

We shared an hour before moving on to the clearing where I stirred up a couple of Brown Hawkers, several Emperors, even more Common Darters and (the inevitable) Black-tailed Skimmers.

Black-tailed Skimmer - female
Black-tailed Skimmer – female

Taking a walk along one of the rides I encountered my first Southern Hawker of the season. Unfortunately in true female habit, she headed for the safety of a tree.

Further along the ride at a crossroads is another delightful little clearing where Emperors often bed down.

Emperor - male
Emperor – male

Back at the shore of Long Lake the damsels were in fine form with several congregations of Common Blue sharing the emergent reeds.

Common Blue damselflies congregating
Common Blue damselflies congregating

A further tour of the small clearings revealed more Emperor, Black-tailed Skimmers, Four-spotted and Broad Bodied Chasers and several fresh Common Darters.

Common Darter - female
Common Darter – female

I also had my first ‘red’ male Common Darter sharing space with a patrolling male Emperor.

Emperor - male in-flight
Emperor – male in-flight

My only slight regret was totally failing to take advantage of a hovering female Brown Hawker, but she only gave me enough time to reach for the camera before she was off and out of sight.

Still…a rather productive and thoroughly enjoyable day!